Yesterday was Saturday, so full of possibilities. It was one of the first Saturdays we didn’t have something to do and could just do whatever we wanted. I woke, after another horrible night of sleep, full of ideas. We could go for a walk, finding a good trail with one of the five (yes five) local area hiking books I recently purchased, and start building up my stamina to walk in the MS Challenge Walk next year. The local community festival was going on along with a strawberry festival at the church right across the street. We’ve lived here three years now and have yet to attend, so maybe it was time. My best friend’s daughter was playing her last hockey game of the season and last home soccer game, and this would have been the only time we had seen her play and obviously the last time for a while. Afterward we could go out with my friend and daughter who we hadn’t seen in some time. Let’s not forget shopping! We recently got a new king bed which must be properly outfitted and coordinated with the room color. Oh, so many options, so many fun choices!
After thinking for a bit I decided that we should really go to the local community festival as the kids would have fun there, go shopping, let the kids get a nap, go watch a soccer game, and then have some fun with my friend and her family. The weather gave a high of 87 degrees for the day, but we were getting out in the morning and would be driving most of the way, and when we were outside later we would be sitting. Beautiful day everyone was saying. Get out and enjoy it, and that was just our plan.
The festival was only about a half a mile away, but knowing the issues with heat a lot of people with MS have, and that I had been starting to feel like I was also now experiencing, we decided not to even chance it. We drove down and parked, maybe, a 1/8 of a mile away. I walked down ahead of the rest of my family to minimize my time in the sun and waited for them in the shade.
Once they joined me we started to wander around. There were a few vendor booths, lots of church tables, almost as many political tables, some food, and a couple of things for kids. Ed soon decided to separate from me to do something to entertain the kids while I made the circuit. I got a few business cards for possible MS merchandise, got the backing of our local community association president for future MS events, and even learned a little about Honey Bees. By the time I found Ed again it was looking like a storm was coming so we better hurry if he wanted to walk across to the strawberry festival too.
We started to head over there and halfway up the very short stretch of hill we had to walk I told Ed “I’m done. Something had just happened to my legs”. Ed kept going, determined to get some strawberries, as I followed behind very unhappily. The line to get into the church was out the door and I snapped that I wasn’t waiting in that line. Ed then realized that he could get some outside. I stood and waited, glaring at him the entire time, and didn’t speak to him on the way back to the car. By the time we got to the car my legs were jello, I was tired, and really unhappy. Luckily it was only a 1 minute ride home. Shopping was no longer an option.
It turned out that Ed had never actually heard me say that “I was done. Something had just happened to my legs”. He thought I was just worried about the possible rain. This makes sense, as Ed never does anything to make me purposefully unhappy and really worries about me more than I ever worry about myself. All was forgiven, but unfortunately, that couldn’t fix the strength in my legs, my fatigue, or my day full of possibilities.
We let the kids watch their normal video before nap time, and got them down for a nap. I talked to my friend and told her that there was no way we could make her daughter’s soccer game and we didn’t even know about getting together afterward anymore. I then went and collapsed on our bed in as little clothing as possible to cool down and went to sleep. When I woke up a couple of hours later my legs still felt like jello and I had no desire nor the determination needed to go anywhere. We called my friend again and completely canceled. Luckily she had the availability of alternate plans or I would have felt horrible on top of everything else.
On days like these, days where I feel beaten and down, I do have one thing that can almost always make me feel better, normal. That thing is as simple as a game. Really any game will do as long as it includes a friend or two and normal conversation. A very good friend of ours came to my rescue last night, even though he didn’t really know it, and I went to bed me. Me, not the tired, weakened, snappy person MS can turn me into, but ME!
From now on I will be enjoying any “beautiful weather” over 80 degrees from a fun indoor locale or in the shade with a cool drink, comfy seat, and good company with the slight possibility of quick easy activity to play a game of corn hole or two. Seat, drink, and shade nearby, of course.